Monday, July 7, 2008

July 7, 2008 - Little People Big World Event In Metropolis

Metropolis hosted the Roloff Family on Sunday night from TLC's hit show, Little People Big World. I made another drive this summer to Metropolis for the event. If you are unfamiliar with the show, the show follows the story of the Roloffs. Matt and Amy are married and have four kids. Matt and Amy are little people but only one of their kids is little like them which is Zach. Jeremy, Molly, and Jacob are regular sized. Jeremy and Zach are twins. Both of Matt and Amy's parents are also regular sized as well. If you haven't watched the show, you really should check it out. It is very addicting and so much fun to watch. In attendance in Metropolis were Amy, Zach, Jeremy, Molly, and Jacob. The only one missing was Matt. As we waited for the event to begin, the episode that focused on Matt, Zach, and Molly's visit to Paducah played on the screens. The episode played through twice while we were there. Very good episode by the way. It was nice to talk with other fans too and talk about the episodes and all. It was really nice to see the wide range of ages of the fans in attendance. The TV crew was on hand recording footage for the show and recorded quite a bit of the event and also the meet and greet. There was a sign outside that said that upon entrance that you agreed to let them use you in the show. It looks like that will be part of an episode in the future.

Amy was the guest speaker for the night and spoke about her experiences in her life as a little person. Amy did an excellent job as a speaker!! She spoke about Metropolis and Superman and how she never really had superheroes growing up like her friends did. She just couldn't see herself becoming the superheroes that her friends fantasized about due to how different she was than them. She said that the only superhero that she could think of as a little kid was one of the dwarfs from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. She wasn't sure that anyone would think of them being a hero but those were the images that she had as a young kid. Amy talked of her first day of kindergarten and how scared that she was being so different from everyone else. She spoke of the speech that her dad gave her that day and what she also tells her kids: "God doesn't make mistakes. There is a reason and a purpose on why you are here. Your job is to find it. Now granted, that he didn't say it exactly like those words but I got the point. Anyone that is of difference or a challenge or whomever we are, the thing that keeps driving me to move forward, have a purpose, and to continue to find what that purpose is is that he doesn't make mistakes and you just have to find out, to be the best that you can." Amy went on to talk about how she would adjust to her surroundings instead of expecting people to adjust to her. She credits her family and friends for helping her so much along the way in facing the challenges that life has thrown at her. College was an experience for her that was like kindergarten where she was so scared in not knowing anyone. She pointed out that she quit being herself cause she was afraid of what others were thinking of her. However, she feels that she thought more of the difference than others did and her friends at college told her that. Other things that she talked about was the difficulty in getting an internship and how she had to bounce back from it, meeting others like her at the LPA and her reaction to it, how she met Matt, how well they complimented each other with their personalities, wanting a wedding instead of his idea of eloping, having kids, making sure to treat them as individuals, and how her heroes are her parents and friends with how they have inspired her. She closed out her speech by mentioning the Superman and heroes tie into Metropolis again by saying: "I want to teach all of my kids that they can be heroes. It's truly the little things that make things work. You don't have to have your names in lights, newspapers, or even have people know that we've done those extra little things to make someone else's life worthy or to have helped them to aspire to be someone bigger or go beyond what they're capable of doing. It takes all of us to do that. So, when I came to Metropolis and thought of a hero, I'd like to look at my four kids as my heroes right now cause they inspire me to be a better mom, woman, person, and to just do everything better. I can't think of myself cause I have four wonderful kids that I've got to have them at least reach to a point that they are able to move on and contribute and think of themselves as worthy and think of the possibilities as possible and not impossible."

After the speech, Amy introduced each of her kids individually and told us a little about all of them. It was really nice with what she had to say about each one. She introduced Jeremy, Molly, Jacob, and then Zach. Fittingly enough, Zach was introduced and came out with a soccer ball. He kicked the ball up into the audience which, if I heard right, had been autographed by the family. A definite souvenir item there for a lucky audience member.

I thought I'd recap some of the question and answer session for you as the audience got to ask questions. The Q&A lasted about 30 minutes. I've recapped a few of the questions. It was a bummer that Molly and Jacob didn't get asked more questions than they did.

Zach spoke at the beginning to open up and said this on finding a purpose in life. "Being on the show has helped me with that there is a purpose for everyone in life even though you may not figure it out soon enough. When you're in high school, this is really important as far as what teenagers do. High school is only four years of your life. The average age in life is about 70 and that means that you still have like 40 or 50 years to go. (lots of laughs at that comment). Not everyone's purpose will be shown at the beginning of life and some won't know their purpose till they're about 60. I figured out that one of my purposes is soccer. I can't really play it cause I can't run. Well, I can run but I can't run fast. I've figured out that my purpose in soccer could be coaching cause I can do it just as good as a tall person."

Question: Question about visiting the farm during pumpkin season.
Amy: "Our place is open Thursday through Sunday in the month of October. Obviously, the show has brought in a lot more people which we're very grateful for. Most of the time the family is there but at least one of the family is there at all times."

Question for Amy: After this past remodel and what you went through, does Matt have to write everything down and then you sign it to make sure it is ok before you start anything else and lay down any ground rules.
Amy: "Oh god no. That doesn't work that way. The unfortunate thing about Matt is that he'll get a project started and say 'by the way what do you think if we did this or started this' I said 'well, it sounds ok but how are you going to go about doing it'. (Matt) 'Well, I've actually already started it and it's almost done'. Needless to say, what he does is all ok, however, it's a lot easier if I don't get involved. Giving input yes but not necessarily involved."

Question: What brought about the television show? Did they approach you?
Amy: "At first, it wasn't something that me and the kids wanted to do. We had a really rough time on the first year or two. We didn't think it would go beyond three episodes. I really didn't care what I looked like or the house and that I was going to get through these three episodes and be done with it. My understanding on how it came about was that we have been in the media kind of all of our lives, mostly locally. Eventually, later on we got into People magazine and The New York Times and other media outlets known nationally. They saw our family and another couple of families and said they had a concept for the show. Matt at the time wasn't really working as he was becoming the president of LPA. He listened to them and thought 'great, we can be on television' and thought it looked good. He came to our family and we all said 'no, no, no'. Not sure how far no went but it didn't go very. That was about 5 or 6 years ago with how it began. The network that he approached did not accept it. About 6 or 8 months later, (another plan was talked about) we would like to do just a show on your family because you've got a lot of dynamics and a lot of things going on and think it could work. Again, he came to us and we all originally said no but lo and behold, we're all on TLC."

Amy was asked about their current vacation.
Amy: "We are currently on a one month vacation. We flew from Oregon to Michigan. My family still lives there and we stayed for a week. We stayed another week for the Little People of America conference. We took a wonderful riverboat ride up the Mississippi and Ohio and was thrilled that my kids loved it. We were there for a week. Now, we're here in Metropolis and still have a little bit to go."

Question for Zach and Jeremy: College plans? What they are wanting to do?
Zach: "I want to be a teacher. My goal would be to be a teacher, probably history and also be a coach in soccer. Maybe make coaching a career. I kind of would like to be a cameraman. Definitely go to college though."
Jeremy: "I know I want to go to college but I just don't know where. I haven't really picked something yet. Maybe go into business in something that I could do with being a pilot or captain or something. Maybe open a body restoration shop."

They were asked about the remodel and how it was going. The remodel is done and the kids all had to sleep in the family room on the floor in a Oregon winter. Amy said this about it: "The house is way different than the house has ever been. I told Matt that this is your house, you've done a great job, beautiful home, beautiful house, it will be my job and our four kids to turn it into a home again." Jeremy talked about catching the fish while on vacation on the episode that aired saying: "Amazing experience. Ten minutes after reeling it in, I looked down at the line and it's still pulling and thought 'are you kidding me?'. It was half an hour of trying to pull this thing in. The sea was really restless and it was a great experience".

The Roloffs were presented with a Superman of Metropolis award from the city of Metropolis. The city doesn't give keys away but instead gives awards away. I got to meet everyone after the event and they were all so extremely nice thanking us for coming to the event and taking pictures. They were having a great time meeting the fans and all of us were having a great time meeting them. Everyone was just as they are on TV and they are great.

If you've never seen the show, I definitely recommend it!! The show does an amazing job of showing all of their personalities where (I know it sounds cliche) you feel like you know them. Matt and Amy do an amazing job with everything. The kids are all great and are going to do great things in the future. The way that family pulls together and handles the stress of pumpkin season is incredible. I'm even tired after watching all the work that they do with it. ha ha. The vacation episodes are a lot of fun to watch too. We see the fun that they have but also the struggles and tough times that they go through as well. I want to give a lot of credit to the ones behind the scenes that put the show together too cause they do an incredible job with it. Little People Big World airs on Monday nights on TLC and is currently airing reruns with new episodes returning later this year. A big thanks again to the Roloffs for coming out and giving us a great night of fun!!

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